Friday, January 27, 2012


 Psalm 119:23(NIV)
Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on Your decrees.

My kids with Grandpa and Grandma.

Yes, today's verse is easy to understand in this season of my life.  It says that His "servant will meditate upon" His decrees.  Not only can I meditate on the Lord's direction given through His Word, but I can purpose to apply those directives with the ever present help of the Holy Spirit.  My weekend was full of the emotion of joy, as I experienced some fun family events.   There is a command that is written in the New Testament that I had absolutely no trouble basking in throughout my time off.

I Thessalonians 5:16(NIV)~Be joyful always.
Again, the circumstances of this joyous weekend made it easy to be overwhelmed with a spirit of thankfulness and pleasure, but what about when we are living in the midst of a trial?  What then?  How do we stand in a posture of joy when the walls around us are crumbling and toppling over? 

The answer to those tough questions are found in the next decree written in the two verses following verse sixteen.

1 Thessalonians 5:17&18(NIV)~Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wow!  That's incredible.  I wonder how many times I have said something like, "I'm just not sure what God's will is for my life".  In these three verses alone, I could live my entire life with direction and purpose!  I could sum it up like this:  Be in Christ Jesus; pray continually; and be joyful all the while.

You are so good!  You never change.  You are always there for us and You clearly guide us. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to celebrate a joyous family event this past weekend.  Through Your clear direction today, I can live with purpose and conviction!
In Christ's name,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Steep Yourself In God's Provisions

Luke 12:22 & 25(NIV)
22~Then Jesus said to his disciples:  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat;  or about your body, what you will wear.  25~Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 

I frequently listen to our local radio station, 88.3 the Wind FM, as I do my morning commute.  They always have a positive thought for the day.  Today's thought was something like this:  "Worry is like rocking in a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but you get no where!" 

I have been known to struggle with worry!  I haven't met too many people who don't have  an issue with this at some point in their life.  There are certainly some very stressful situations that we deal with throughout our life span.  I would never want to treat someone dismissively when their heart is in turmoil over a heavy burden, but I'm thankful once again, to be able to turn to the Word of God and rest in His presence for situations that are beyond my control.  It is there that I find peace and I pray that you will find His peace there too.

Here is what the Lord tells me in the gospel of Luke about how to deal with my worries:

Luke 12:31-32(MSG)
Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Don't be afraid of missing out.  You're my dearest friend!  The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
FOCUS!  Even if you're only holding on by a thread.
So, once again, my focus is so important.  I can't take my eyes off of Him!!  When I start getting distracted, He is a gentle reminder that HE IS A BIG GOD!!  He CAN handle it.

Thank you for the encouraging words that you set in our hearts and minds to equip us to handle our worries.  When we struggle with the concerns of today, please help us to refocus and lay them at the foot of the cross for You to carry for us.  For those who are reading this right now and are carrying extremely heavy burdens, I am asking You to surround them with Your peace and gentle reassuring love.  Thank you for wanting to give us the "very kingdom itself".
In Christ name, 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are You For Real?

Psalm 119:22(MSG)
Don't let them mock and humiliate me; I've been careful to do just what You said.

I was reading in the Word today, and I came across something in the gospels about feigning your faith.  You know....pretending to be something we aren't.  Acting like we have a strong faith in God, but not really having one.  Interesting.  When I combine that with tonight's verse about being careful to do what God tells us to do, I come face to face with a difficult question. 

So, here it is.  Am I for real?  Do I REALLY believe what I am saying I believe?  Or have I just learned to masquerade as a disciple of Christ.  Going to church every Sunday.  Using the "church talk" to navigate the world of religion.  Looking good to others, much like the pharisees, but not having any depth of relationship with the One True God. 

I think the psalmist in the verse tonight is standing on the fact that he KNOWS that he has walked the walk, not just talked the talk!!  He's "legit" as we like to say in our modern world.  He can unequivocally claim that he did everything that his Father asked of him! 

I desire that kind of faith...a child like!  I want to be an authentic Christian....

Thank you for allowing us the ability to search Your word and know that You are good.  Thank you for blessing us each day with a fresh hope for our future.  Give us the courage and power to know You more and follow through on all that You direct us to do.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Absolutely Nothing

Psalm 119:21(NIV)
You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from Your commands.

Webster's dictionary defines arrogance as the act of being haughty.  Haughty is defined as having or showing great pride in oneself AND having contempt for others.  I guess the point here is that the focus is abundantly on yourself!  I suppose that when we start getting our eyes off of the Lord and onto ourselves, we are in for a tumultuous ride. 

I saw a billboard today on my drive around the town.  It read:  What will you see Jesus do through you this year?  Isn't that incredible?  That must be the opposite of arrogance.  When I recognize that the good things I accomplish are from Jesus working in my life and give Him the glory instead of assigning myself the praise, I keep from becoming puffed up with pride.  Pretty good stuff. 

I'm going to leave you tonight with these words written by Sarah Young in her daily devotional titled:  Jesus Calling.  She writes as though the Lord is speaking directly to you.

My sweet little friend doing "hard things"!
"I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU.  When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you.  You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don't be discouraged--never give up! 

Luke 1:37(ESV)
For nothing will be impossible with God.

Your presence in our lives is completely overwhelming!  I know that You are our hope and our courage to do the hard things in life that You want done.  Work through our hands, feet, mouths, minds, hearts, talents, strengths, and weaknesses to do mighty things for Your kingdom in the coming months.  Help me to remember that absolutely nothing is impossible with YOU
I'm standing on Your promises,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insatiable Appetite

Psalm 119:20(MSG)
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous-insatiable for Your nourishing commands.

Today in the Voice Bible, I am reading about Jesus as He was directed by the Spirit into the desert after His baptism.  (Matthew chapter 4.)  The Lord must have been "starved and hungry" as today's verse describes, because he had been fasting for forty days and forty nights before three huge temptations were presented to Him by Satan~the "tempter".  

When I think about fasting, the Bible is very clear that some things will only happen when we pray and fast.  I figure if Jesus needed to fast to be prepared for what the devil would attempt to tease Him much more do I need it?!  I also can attest to the fact that as I have approached great obstacles in my life,  and I have committed a period of time to fasting and prayer for said trials, the results have always strengthened my walk with God. 
My daughter's love for animals is infinite.

The following are some of the things that I have learned during periods of fasting.  First of all, I have learned that I enjoy food!  Seriously, though, I do enjoy food and when I fast, I realize what a gift it is to have food available whenever I want it.  It gives me a grateful and appreciative heart.  Secondly, fasting gives me a peace and confidence to know that I am being obedient to what the Lord wants for me.  I can have a steadfast assurance in my mind and heart that I have presented my request to the Lord and He sees and hears my request.  At that point, a trust wells up within my heart that convinces me that I have done my part and He will work out His good and perfect will in my situation.  (Even if it means that things don't work out the way that I thought they should.) 

Thirdly, fasting has a way of clearing the clutter out of my head.  It helps me to sharpen my focus on, as this verse says, His "nourishing commands."  Put more succinctly, I literally have a higher awareness and sensitivity to the spiritual world as I deny myself some of the physical comforts that I have grown accustomed to.  Finally, fasting allows me to recognize God's sovereign hand upon my life and it increases my ability to recognize His active presence in my home.  As I reflect upon those times in the past when I have fasted, I can always see a clear picture of how He provided for some very specific needs.

It is my desire to have a constant hunger and insatiable appetite for Your Word.  It is my prayer that Your words will live richly within the fortress of my heart and within the hearts of those reading these words today.  May You be glorified in all that we do...including fasting. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stranger On Earth

Psalm 119:19(NIV)
I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. 

Facebook has become such an incredible venue for people to connect!  I enjoy "surfing" through the posts and seeing every one's families and the adventures that life is taking them on.  I could literally spend hours reading and looking at pictures of all the fun places people are traveling and the creative ways that they spend their time.  I have to put a Facebook "time limit" on myself when I check in or I wouldn't get anything else done in a day!  What a treat to get to read all the great updates!

Tonight, though, as I was doing my usual "like" button routine, I came across a very different kind of post.  It was from a sweet friend from high school that I don't get to talk to anymore.  (Think almost thirty years ago.)  I haven't seen her in about that long, but here she was with her sweet smiling profile pic and a rather lengthy post.  It started off by saying that she "hardly ever posts on Facebook, but....."  That in and of itself got my attention.  She went on to tell all of her friends that she has been sick and her husband has just been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and she wanted her friends to know. 

I stared at that post for almost thirty minutes trying to figure out what to say.  My words seem inadequate in a situation like this.  They are our best attempt to help people understand how we feel, but often times, we don't even understand how we feel ourselves.  I ended up telling her how much we love them and that we are going to pray for them and stand with them through this trial.  I told my husband about it and he immediately e-mailed the husband and we will follow through on that promise, but what I wanted to say needed to be said in person with an arm of love around them and a genuine love that expresses sincerity.

I wanted to tell her exactly what this verse says tonight.  That "we are strangers on earth".  We are merely passing through. 

I frequently stand upon the words that You said in John 16:33.  Tonight, I repeat them and as always gain much confidence and peace within my heart for my friends.

John 16:33(NIV)
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."

Place Your hand under those tonight who find themselves in a fearful foreign land and gently carry them through this trouble.  Allow them to rest in Your arms and find Your peace.
In Jesus Name,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stick To The List

Psalm 119:18(MSG)
Open my eyes so that I can see what You show me of your miracle-wonders. 

My daughter training the stray cat she found.
Open my eyes!!  That is a little humorous to me right now.  Let me explain.  I started the day off right on track for my New Year's resolution list.  Up and at 'em early. 

Bible reading and prayer~check.
Quick run on the treadmill~check.
Finish helping my son pack for his return to school~check.
Slam my foot into the large (unmoving) wait a minute...that wasn't on my list!!

Yes, I rammed my entire foot right into the stool that props our feet up every night.  My eyes  really were open, but my depth perception was extremely off apparently.  Dropping to the floor in agonizing pain, I knew it was a pretty good hit.  I didn't want to look at the damage.  I heard a strange popping sound as the toe made contact with the wood.  Oh dear. 

Well, suffice it to say, that my toe is facing a direction that it doesn't normally face.  I find myself sitting with my foot  propped up and ice strapped to my foot.  Sure enough, it is broken and displaced, so off I will crutch to the foot doctor (hopefully tomorrow), for him to decide if a pin is necessary to pull the bone back in place.  Heavy sigh. 

This toe incident was NOT on the list of things to accomplish in the New Year.  As I try to interject a little humor into this unplanned event, I want to give some important advice for your New Year.  Ready??  Here it comes!  Stick to the list!!  Do not waiver from it. 

However, on a more serious note, as the verse says tonight, if our eyes are open, God will show us His beauty and an abundance of His wonder working grace!  I can't wait to watch what tremendously glorious things He will do this year!!

Thank you for revealing Your awesome power to us.  Please sharpen our awareness of Your Spirit in our surroundings every day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What voice will you hear in the New Year?

Psalm 119:17(NIV)
Do good to your servant, and I will live;  I will obey your Word.

Happy New Year!!  I have been reflecting a great deal on what I want to accomplish in this New Year.  I absolutely love to start things over.  It gives such a freshness to everything.  It's like a "do over".  If it was awesome the first time...then doing it again is excellent.  If it wasn't so good on the other hand, then it is great to get a chance to start over and try for a better outcome!  Either way, it's a win-win situation!  Right?

Upon review of my last year, here is what I decided to "do over" in this year.  As a mother, my number one priority, after God, is my family.  My goal of encouraging my daughter to read more of her Bible was a noble goal last year, but we were not as successful as I would have liked.  I did not have a well defined plan lined out for her to follow and therefore, we fell short.  With that in mind, I have been looking at the different reading plans and translations to get her through the New Testament in a year.  I have a friend who succeeded in walking her son through the pages of God's Word this year, so I know it can be done! 

Here is my plan.  I obtained the Voice (click here)  translation of the New Testament and printed a one year reading schedule for my daughter.  (The Old Testament comes out in April.)  This particular translation reminds me of the New Living Translation with the addition of frequent breakaways narrating what is going on or in some cases what has gone on during that particular time in history.  The Voice has a feel as though someone is literally sitting beside me explaining what I am reading.  It brings the words of the page to life in vivid color!!  I am excited to read this with my daughter and discuss the verses as they jump off the page.

My goal for her, and my own life as well, is to bring a new vitality to our walk with the Lord!  To simplify and clarify our direction and purpose and thereby allow His word to penetrate our hearts with a greater vibrancy and color than we have ever experienced before.  Prayerfully, I will develop in us a deeper devotion to the Word of God and a more complete obedience as is described in today's verse. 

As my last post stated, the eyes of the Lord are searching for hearts that are fully devoted to Him, so that through His spirit, He can deliver His strength to each one of us!  (2 Chronicles 16:9)  I most definitely need and want the strength of God for every detail of my life in 2012!
My daughter and I enjoying some "talk time".

Thank you for Your words that bring a newness and purpose to our lives.  As we step into a New Year, please help us to walk boldly with You and rely on Your strength for all that we encounter!
In Christ's Name,